Tuesday, 25 November 2014

You must remember this...

From the New York Times

The letters of transit — “signed by General de Gaulle, cannot be rescinded, not even questioned” — were hidden under its unusual hinged lid. It is golden yellow with touches of green and gold, a surprise to people who know it only from its black-and-white adolescence. It has a wad of chewing gum in a place where a wad of chewing gum really should not be.

It is the stuff that dreams are made of.

It is one of the most famous pianos in the world, the piano Ingrid Bergman was close to when she delivered one of Hollywood’s unforgettable lines: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ ” It is the short little upright from Rick’s Café Américain in the movie “Casablanca.”

Signed by General de Gaulle? A Vichy France official would let someone through with papers signed by the leader of Free French Forces?

The line is "signed by General Weygand", who was a collaborator in the Vichy government, Took me about 1 minute on Google to find the clip of Peter Lorre saying it.

6 comments:

Graeme said...

your pedantic niggle does not add up to a pile of beans in this crazy world

View from the Solent said...

Hill of beans.

The Stigler said...

Graeme,

You'll regret that comment. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

Graeme said...

this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, Stig....

Mark Wadsworth said...

Very strange. Why would a journalist bother going to so much trouble just to get something wrong?

And Weygand was not a collaborator, that was the official French government. The same as the UK government continued being the UK government even though we had lost territory to enemy countries.

If anything De Gaulle was the worst traitor, we very kindly looked after him and tolerated his twattish French ways during the war, then allowed him to impose himself as some sort of French head of state after we'd one it for him, and he still did his best to do us down and never said thanks.

The Stigler said...

Mark,

It was a bad decision to let de Gaulle (who had been hidden in safe exile for most of the war) lead the armies into Paris. It should have been the Americans who'd actually got there first.

I'm no fan of de Gaulle. It was the Americans, British and Canadians that did most of the heavy lifting liberating France, along with French resistance forces (most of which were co-ordinated from London), and they stupidly let him lead the forces into Paris, giving him a lot more credit than he deserved. The actual French resistance? Big Damn Heroes.